Civil War Diaries
of William Owen, Co K., 86th New York Vols


February, 1863


Feb 1. Yet on picket, went in the wood 
with my friend Melvan Homer of Co F.
Found a large rock which overlook the 
stand of trees, kindled a little fire,
read in the bible had a season of prayer.

Feb 2. Still on picket. Our lines run 
nearly east & west. & protects the right
wing of our army. Agen retired so that ____ 
_____ with my friends. Gilbert Asheley, 
______ Simons read in the Testament. Asked 
each other questions after which had a 
season of prayer.

Feb 3. Relieved from picket ten A.M. and 
returned to camp. Read a letter from Sister 
Oripa also one from Cousin A Owen. Answered 
sisters letter. Order for granting furloughs 
read as dress ____. Very cold.

Feb 4. Stayed in camp all day, made a ___ 
to my tent. The Rebels made a raid across 
the river (Rapahanock). A colonel and one 
hundred prisoners said to have been taken 
by our forces.

Feb 5. In camp all day, recd a letter from 
my friend Wm. Hillborn and one from my Dr. 
father informing me that he had sent me a 
____. Also recd a letter from my old friend 
William J. Kellog or rather it was a ____.

Feb 6. Rained almost all day, stayed in camp. 
Read a letter from Cousin E.O. He still at 
the convalescent camp and not getting any better.

Feb 7. On guard duty at the commissary 
department. Wrote a letter to my parents. 
Fear not little flock for its your fathers 
good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Feb 8. A very pleasant day spent in camp. 
Reread a letter from my friend George Wilder 
in the evening. Attended prayer meeting, 
felt some of the love of God in my heart.

Feb 9. Weather pleasant, washed my clothes, 
wrote a letter to my friend Charles Wilder. 
Ambrose Ingram of my (Co. K) discharged also 
Daniel Strand.

Ginnie A. Douglass, Lancaster County, Va. 
[Transcribers note: Looks like Robert Douglass' writing]

Feb 10. In camp all day, dont feel very well. 
Grand review by Maj Gen Sickles.

Robert....Robert Doggett.

Feb 11. Stayed in camp all day. Washed my clothes 
went out on Brig drill and were driven in by the 
rain. Wrote a valentine.

Feb 12. Went to Stoneman ______ to look for a ___. 
Brig drill in the afternoon, in the evening went 
out with some of my friends for a season of prayer.

Feb 13. On fatigue duty for cutting wood for the 
company. Wrote letter to sister Hannah. Brig 
drill in the afternoon. 

Feb 14. Clear and but cold. Battalion drill 
in the afternoon. Went over to Stoneman switch 
with my friend D. F. Countryman. Wrote letter 
to my friend F.S. Hubbard. Charles Vaughn of 
my Co (K) died ten P.M. 

Feb 15.  Stayed in camp all day, wrote a letter 
to B.C. Wood,also sent one to Mr. Vaughns folk 
informing them of the death of their son. In the 
evening attended prayer meeting in Capt. Bakers 
office!

Feb 16. Attended the burial of my comrad Charles 
Vaughn. Took charge of the event. The chaplain 
of the 122 P.A. Vol. said the funeral services, 
thus another of my fellow soldiers has passed away. 
Thank God for his goodness to me.

Feb 17. And yet how unworthy I am. How soon I 
forgot that my brother has fallen. In camp all 
day. Snow about three inch deep and yet snowing. 
In the afternoon had a lively time snowballing 
with my friends. 

Feb. 18 Wrote letter to Cousin E.O. Also to 
Stephen Vaughn. Rained hard all day, the water 
about two inches deep in my tent. Have to dip 
it out to keep it out of the fireplace. Evening 
ten P.M. and yet raining.

Feb 19. Still raining-the mud is running miserably 
deep. Feel rather down-hearted in the evening 
had a prayer meeting in my tent, felt some of the
love of God in my heart.

Feb. 20 Clear and pleasant, drew one pair of pants, 
one pair of shoes, one pair of sox. Went away from 
camp with my friend (Malvern Horner) had a good old
fashioned____ _____ farewell address to his Brigd. 

Feb 21. Recd letter from Cousin E.O. informing 
me that he had got his discharge. Brigade drill 
in the afternoon. Wrote letter to E.O. also one 
to Wm. Hill reborn. Capt Warner recd ten days 
furlough.

Feb 22. Another Sabbath spent in camp. Snow 
fell last night about a foot deep this 
Washingtons birthday. Was celebrated by firing 
of cannon.

Feb 23. On fatigue duty for cutting wood. 
Snow deep, weather cold. J. Bailey of (Co K) 
buried. Thus another of my fellow soldiers 
is gone! Behold what manner of love the Lord 
has bestowed upon me. Wrote valentine to Mary.

Feb 24. Went to Stonemans switch with my 
friend Will Stewart also to the Brigade 
Commissary purchased a beef heart for 
twenty five cts. wrote letter to Capt. 
J W Warner. Orders to be ready to go on 
picket at 7 A.M. tommorrow morning.

Feb 25. Fell in line and started for the 
picket line 7 A.M. Arrived on the line
12 N. Immediately after we were posted 
the Rebbels made a charge upon our lines. 
124 N.Y. of our Brigade fired on them and 
they turned back. Our loss was one killed 
and one wounded and forty cavalry taken 
prisoners.

Feb 26. Yet on picket, raining hard. 
All quiet along the lines. In the skirmish
yesterday our Brigade took three prisoners, 
One Capt-one sargt and one private.

Feb 27. Still on picket-warm and pleasant. 
Stopped in tent with friend. _____ passed 
the day off by reading my bible. I feel 
rather lonesome.

Feb 28. Relieved from picket 11 A.M. 
Returned to camp, found a box there sent
from home. Had a fine feast of bisquit 
butter & honey. Read a letter from my
father.



Maintained by Sue Greenhagen. E-mail: greenhsh@morrisville.edu